There are times that I really dislike living in the South. This is one of those times.
Obama effigy found of UK's Campus
Now, there are several things which bother me here.
First, that some one thought to hang and effigy of anyone from a tree. I find the thought of hanging something that is meant to represent a real person kind of despicable. Whoever that person is, whatever they have done, they don't deserve to be lynched even if effigy.
Second, that the person happened to be a Presidential Candidate. The fact that this person is a well known politician and is running for the one office in this country where even threatening to kill him would be a crime, why would you think this is a good plan? Really?
Third, that he happens to have an African American Background. Overlooking the fact that hanging anyone in effigy isn't something I would ever consider, you can't overlook the connotation of hanging an effigy of a black man. The history there, especially in the south, is so strong that just hanging a noose in a tree is enough to spark riots in places (Jena, LA). In fact, the noose is as strong a symbol of hate these days as the swastika or the burning cross of the KKK. So how could you think that using a noose to hang a dummy representing the first black candidate for President of United States wouldn't be seen as an act of hate?
Fourth, that it happened on campus. UK is a campus that has been trying for the last few years to lose the image it has of being a campus dominated by whites. They have been trying hard to make it a place where everyone feels welcome. Where anyone would want to come and spend their college years. Obviously, we have a long way to go.
And, perhaps what troubles me most of all is that many of the people who commented on the article see nothing wrong with what was done. They compare it to the effigy of Sarah Palin that is hanging out in California. While I think both of the displays are wrong, I will say that anyone who can't see how they are different is overlooking several hundred years of American history. If you can't see how hanging an effigy of a white woman in front of your home on private property in a state that has never been identified as part of the south is different from hanging the effigy of a black man anonymously at a public university in a state that was very much a part of the south, then maybe you need to go back to history class.